Two days ago, I went to go and find my copy of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. It was one of the last games I ever bothered pre-ordering and one of the only games in my collection that has any signs of wear and tear. A Blu-ray case with two busted corners and a dozen or so scratches clinging to the disc held within.
This was going to be the last time I played Uncharted 2’s online multiplayer. The last time I ever could. After almost a decade Sony has pulled the plug and those servers have now gone dark for good. Just like Warhawk, SOCOM, MAG, Twisted Metal, and dozens more PS3 titles.
2009 was a weird time for video games (when is it never a weird time?), but despite being lauded as one of the greatest games of a generation, Uncharted 2 took many by surprise. Instead of fretting over loot boxes and microtransactions as we do today, gamers at the time were concerned about “tacked on multiplayer”.
With Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare having taken the world by storm, other publishers were clearly playing catch up. Online play was being shoehorned into just about any game where it would fit. It’s easy to see why this would irk some gamers, but for others (such as myself) there was a genuine curiosity as to how some titles would support multiplayer.
Uncharted 2 was one such game. As a Gears of War fan who didn’t actually own an Xbox 360, I was pining for a worthy third person shooter I could take online with my friends.
Looking back now, Uncharted was a perfect candidate. Not only was the cover shooting in the first game robust, these games gave more consideration to traversal and verticality in their level design. All of that was being furthered for the second game, tightening up the feel of the gameplay and making it even better suited to multiplayer.
During a pre-release beta, I remember the moment that sold it for me: climbing a wall and reaching the top, I yanked an enemy by their feet and watching them fall. Uncharted 2’s multiplayer allowed you to perform the same stylish, cinematic brand of third person shooting that could pull off during Drake’s single player globe-trotting escapades.
Its multiplayer modes would become a daily fixture for me. This was a time before I joined TheSixthAxis: I was still in school, had organised a clan with strangers from around the world, and we’d buddy up, plundering long into the night. It was an incredible game.
It’s worth mentioning that the servers for both Uncharted 3 and The Last of Us have also gone dark as part of this shutdown, though you’ll still be able to access TLOU’s multiplayer via the PlayStation 4 remaster.
For a developer that is often crowned as king of story-driven video games, Naughty Dog doesn’t get enough credit for the work its multiplayer team puts in.
Naturally, I’m a bit bummed that I’ll never get the chance to wander those online battlegrounds I used to call home, but I’m equally as excited to see what Naughty Dog has waiting for us next year with the long-awaited release of The Last of Us Part II. Hopefully it’s going to be another incredible multiplayer experience.